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Giving victims and the public a better understanding of how the justice system is performing and giving them an opportunity to get involved ...

TRANSPARENCY

This section looks at how we can open the justice system so that victims and the public have a better understanding of how we are performing and have more opportunities to get involved.

In more detail:

Opening up justice

We will publish more information about criminal justice outcomes and services, and streamline the requirements that govern how sentences must be explained in court. We will also increase the opportunities for volunteering, and increase community involvement in justice so that local people can help to find resolutions to low level crime.

Recognising and repairing the harm caused to victims

We will seek views on how to ensure victims are routinely given the opportunity to make a Victim Personal Statement, and are proposing using restorative justice interventions at each stage of the justice system.

Responding more effectively to crime

We need to reform each stage of the system. We will create a clear national framework for dealing with offences out of court; we will only use remand places where it is necessary to protect the public from those offenders whose behaviour presents a serious risk; we will continue our work to reduce the numbers of foreign nationals in our justice system; and we are considering several important reforms to custodial sentencing including:

  • Creating a new offence with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of six months for adults who possess a knife to threaten and endanger
  • Conducting an urgent review of sentencing for serious sexual and violent offenders with a view to replacing the current indeterminate sentence of Imprisonment for Public Protection with a much tougher determinate sentencing framework

A simpler framework

We have introduced legislation to make it easier for courts and practitioners to sentence and manage offenders, which includes: ensuring all future sentences are subject to a single set of release arrangements; simplifying the process for calculating remand time; creating a single set of rules for operating Home Detention Curfew and repealing unimplemented legislation that creates unnecessary complications.

Simplifying performance management

As well as simplifying the law, we are committed to reducing top-down performance management by giving professionals the freedom to do their jobs. This includes: publishing new Probation Standards; reforming arrangements for assessing the performance of Probation Trusts; developing a risk based monitoring system for youth justice; and creating a new Youth Justice Division in the Ministry of Justice with a new approach based on youth justice services being locally determined and driven.

Download the full response document.

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